Book reviews, Non fiction

Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Steven Lovatt – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature.

“At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush”

As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us.

From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.

MY REVIEW 

Birdsong in a Time Of Silence is a beautifully written, almost poetic, book about birds and their songs, something many of us have noticed so much more this past year. With lockdowns and shielding, for some of us the only link to nature available is the birds in our gardens.

This book clearly shows Steven Lovatt’s love of birds, I loved reading about his childhood memories evoked by the simple sound of a bird singing, from the alarm calls of a blackbird to the knife grinding of the magpie. 

It also tells of their feats of endurance during migration, the effects of climate change and the destruction of many bird habitats. All mixed with interesting facts for n just how a bird sings, their physiology and habits.

The author has a beautiful way with language and his way of using metaphors to explain what he means, makes this an interesting and totally engaging read. An absolute joy to read.

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